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the debt. that's the fiscal cliff deal of the day and the market likes it and the numbers are 5, 16, 22, 23, 29, and the powerball is 6. you lost. the government won. "varney & company" is about to begin. [ male announcer ] this is steve. he loves risk. but whether he's climbing everest, scuba diving the great barrier reef with sharks, or jumping into the marke he goes with people he trusts, . . >> . stuart: it's a modern day tea party. it's a revolt led by corporations. the wall street journal reports 173 companies announced they'll pay special dividends for shareholders before the end of the year because a big tax increase on dividends could be coming next year and many companies moving up regular dividends to save their taxpayers, to save taxpayers a lot of money. start with disney. it's raising its dividend and paying it out on december 28th. that's 1.3 billion dollars paid out in total, paid out under the current tax rate. and las vegas sands paying a special dividend, that's a one on shot. 2 and 1/4 billion total. half of that will go to sheldon adelson. costco 3 billion, special divi
don't know what they discussed. the first read team says a fiscal cliff deal is in sight. what do they think the big deal will be? join our conversation on twitter. find us at @tamronhall a and @newsnation. [ male announcer ] at scottrade, you won't just find us online, you'll also find us in person, with dedicated support teams at over 500 branches nationwide. so when you call or visit, you can ask for a name you know. because personal service starts with a real person. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. our support teams are nearby, ready to help. it's no wonder so many investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade. [ man thinking ] oh, this gas. those antacids aren't working. oh no, not that, not here! [ male announcer ] antacids don't relieve gas. gas-x is designed to relieve gas. gas-x. the gas xperts. now's a good time to think about your options. are you looking for a plan that really meets your needs? and your budget? as you probably know, medicare only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider a
spark when it came to negotiating a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, which is the christmas present the country needs. today we heard president obama's response to the proposal that house speaker john boehner put on the table yesterday. >> the speaker's proposal right now is still out of balance. >> of out of balance. kind of similar to what republicans said last week when the president sent over his terms. so now what? will they sit down and talk it through? well, not according to at least one senior republican aide who told cnn today, no conversations today, no e-mails, tweets, carrier pigeons. as for boehner and obama, they actually did see each other in person at the white house holiday party last night in black tie. while other lawmakers waited in line to get the photo with the president, multiple sources from both sides of the aisle tell cnn that boehner wasn't among them. so much for holiday cheer. we have this picture. we're wait fworg the day there's a fiscal cliff. there wasn't total silence in washington today. senate majority leader harry reid spoke up. but in his case,
can't see the light when it comes to the fiscal cliff. 28 days to go. what will it take to get a deal? >>> plus, the stern warning for syria from nato. the use of chemical weapons will bring an immediate reaction from the international community. we ask our panel if the united states will go to war. >>> and a new hollywood movie about the hunt for osama bin laden sparks oscar buzz and outrage. questions over just how much confidential information the film makers had access to. an "outfront" investigation. let's go "outfront." ♪ >>> good evening, everyone, i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, let there be light. finally, some bulbs turned on in washington this evening. well, on the congressional christmas tree, that is. pretty beautiful. lights, love, camaraderie, song. but while our lawmakers took some time to celebrate together, they still weren't showing any spark when it came to negotiating a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, which is the christmas present the country needs. today we heard president obama's response to the proposal that house speaker john boehner put on the table
to a f fiscal cliff deal. what's the latest and is this posturing, kelly, or is this real? i mean, is this disagreement about kind of laying out the stakes of where everybody stands and what they're willing to give or is it a possibility that we don't get a deal? >> reporter: well, you do hear rumblings, chris, about no deal. but at the same time people are saying there's still some negotiating time left and a bit of optimism. when you heard the tone of what was unfolding yesterday, it was kind of shocking to republicans who would say that the president's offer is so far from a negotiating point that they are surprised not so much that these are the positions that we're in because much has been the president's public rhetoric but in terms of real negotiating they say they were surprised this wasn't the kind of offer that would have happened some weeks ago, meaning right after the election if you want to start there. but now with just four weeks to go they felt the president needed to move further. democrats believe these are the priorities that voters reinforced with their ballots
republicans have offered their own solutions to the fiscal cliff. but we're no closer to a deal. joining me now is senator isa isaacson. good morning, senator isaacson. i assume you stand by what you said just two weeks ago. so let me ask you this. the initial offer by speaker boehner, is it fair to say -- is it fair that the white house is calling it an unserious offer since it doesn't do anything on tax rates? >> no, i dent think so at all. i think it's more reflective of a simpson-bowles. it's a first step. i made a living selling houses for 33 years. i don't get people together until they finally sit down 0 at the table and negotiate. it's still too much posturing, too much the president wants it his way, somebody else wants it that way. i believe tom coburn was right. it's time to sit down in a room, see if we can work this out. going off the cliff would be a stupid idea. >> i want you -- david brooks this morning writes this in "the new york times." republicans have to realize that they are going to cave on tax rates. the only question is what they get in return. do you agree? >> not
much indeed. >> the so the president has made it very, very clear, drawn a line, no fiscal cliff deal without higher tax rates for the highest earningers, tax rates have got to go up. question, what will speaker boehner have to say about that? his reaction will be new at ten this morning. mark stein is going to be here as well and he'll join us to explore that and more. we have an oil and mining deal to tell, but. freeport mcmoran and copper and gold will have exploration and two separate deals for 9 billion in cash and stock. i'm not quite sure what all of that means. just tell me the stock price, nicole. >> it means big moves for these two stocks here. freeport mcmoran is now down over 15%, but when you look at plains exploration and production, a big mover to the upside and that's up 23. stuart: i'm trying to get this. freeport mcmoran, they're the ones that are doing the buying and plains exploration are the people who are being bought. so the people who are being bought go up because they're paying a high price and the people who are paying the money out are going down. have i go
of the opposition to any at the potential fiscal cliff deals speaker boehner can work out with the president. he can't work anything out without this guy's approval. yesterday grover norquist warned of a wave of tea party anger, a tea party two that would dwarf anything we've seen before. let's take a look at the threat from grover. >> understand how ugly the next four years are going to get. everything in obama care that obama didn't want you to focus on or think about, the 90% of his trillion dollar tax increase, was pushed over until after he got himself safely re-elected. all those regulations you're now hearing about, okay, that are being -- those all hit after the election. we got four bad years of regulation taxes, he wants to add higher taxes to that. tea party two is going to dwarf tea party one if obama pushes us off the cliff. >> there's a dr. strangelove. how many republicans will be willing to stand up to that threat? david corn is here to talk about it, the washington bureau chief for mother jones and the author of "47 percent." he's a member of the gridiron society. and john feehery i
to the washington post, he is not enjoying. >> both sides seem to be digging in on a fiscal cliff deal. >> a new week brings new opportunities for gridlock. >> right now it's a stalemate. >> republicans used words like stalemate. >> is this a true stalemate? >> i would say we're nowhere. >> going nowhere. >> the path to nowhere. >> you're doing it wrong. >> just 28 days left. >> i think we're going over the cliff. >> it's not a good sign. >> republicans were flabbergasted. >> flabbergasted. >> you can't be serious. >> going know where just 28 days left. >> i feel almost sorry for john boehner. >> does john boehner have control of his caucus? >> will john boehner lead his sdmaukz. >> is he leading his caucus or will his caucus lead him? >> two party two is going to dwarf tea party one. >> this is embarrassing. >> he's the problem. >> he's willing to act like the election never happened. >> we're not getting anywhere. >> we're going over the cliff. >> it's the gop who has been short on specifics. >> i would say we're nowhere, period. we're nowhere. >> the same exact policies. >> this shows that re
maybe in this fiscal cliff deal. grover, the first question i have for you is this, your pledge, the pledge that many republicans have signed on to, opposes any and all efforts to increase marginal income tax rates and opposes any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits unless matched for dollar by further reducing tax rates. closing loopholes and ending deductions would seem to increase the tax burden that americans are paying to the federal government. given that, do you support the proposal put forward by john boehner? >> well, because the proposal is significantly amorphous, you could get those revenues through economic growth and we don't really have things nailed down, i don't want to talk about a hypothetical, but there is a danger that when you put revenues on the table, even revenues through economic growth, if you grew at 4% a year, reagan levels, instead of 2%, french levels or obama levels, you would net $5 trillion in additional revenue to the government, you could pay down all of obama's additional debt by higher levels of growth, not raising taxes.
cliff deal in washington. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 82 points to close at 13,034. but the nasdaq fell nearly 23 points to close at 2,973. the day's big loser was apple, down more than 6% over concerns that smart phone sales are lagging. former texas congressman jack brooks has died. he served 42 years in the house, and was in the dallas motorcade on november 22nd, 1963 when president kennedy was assassinated. hours later, brooks was on hand as vice president and fellow texan lyndon johnson was sworn in to the presidency. later, brooks helped author the 1964 civil rights act, and he drafted the articles of impeachment against president nixon. jack brooks was 89 years old. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: lawmakers stepped up the rhetoric, but grew no closer today to agreement on how to avoid slipping over the so- called fiscal cliff. but each side demanded the other compromise. "newshour" congressional correspondent kwame holman begins our coverage. >> i have to just tell you that is a... that is a bad strategy for america
to be digging in on a fiscal cliff deal and so right now it's a stalemate. >> for right now i would say we're nowhere. period. we're nowhere. >> what are the chance we'll go over the live? >> there's clearly chance. >> tuning we'll get a deal by the end. year. >> do i. >> i think we'll go over the cliff. >> republicans are angry the president presented them with an offer they don't think is serious. but the president's new negotiating strategy is clear, don't give in. don't start with concessions. even as some republicans say they don't think they need to put out any kind of formal proposal. let me bring in "the washington post" columnist and our politics reporter. good morning. so the headline in the "new york times" is pushing the gop to negotiate, obama ends giving in. and peter baker writes that president obama has emerged kind of a different style of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line, frustrating the republicans clearly. this is a strategy his base might like but i'm wondering will it make him a better deal maker? >> it just may mean that republicans ult
the scenes of the talks to avoid the fiscal cliff. it seems the framework for a deal actually might be taking shape. if so, what will it look like? david drucker has been nosing around a little bit. the associate politics editor at "roll call." when you hear senators and speaker of the house come out and talk it doesn't sound like they're all that close, david. are you optimistic? >> well i'm sort of on the fence here, jon. whenever you hear members of congress talk about any kind of fiscal cliff deal you have to approach it with a sort of believe everything and believe nothing attitude. i think that everybody wants to avoid having taxes go up for all americans as of january 1st but everybody has a price for that. and it, to me, it's about whether or not both sides are looking for a win-win deal, meaning, my opponent wins and i win. or whether both sides or one of the sides are looking for a deal where only i win and you lose and on top of all of that then we have to look at what do they want to include in any sort of deal? are we going to address entitlement reform? are we going to cut spend
francis. lori: i am lori rothman. the president saying we can get a fiscal cliff deal done in one week but wall street not so sure. recession warning coming up.
a deal done more than me. so he's trying to essentially give some encouragement to get the fiscal cliff deal talks ignited and going. and so this comes on -- the speech is coming on a breaking news day jenna of what you and i were talking about and that is basically citigroup laying off 11,000 workers as the president is now speaking to the business roundtable. those layoffs at the nation's third biggest bank have begun. jenna: let's talk a little bit more about that, liz, that news came into our newsroom a couple of hours ago. you've been working this. learning more about also what is to come for the big bank. why is the bank making such massive job layoffs now and what is really to come in the next year or so? >> reporter: yeah, what we're talking about here is essentially this is citigroup, this i is the bank that got $476 billion in bailout help. it got the most bailout help of any bank. what happened was citigroup was -- its ceo had stepped down a couple months ago, now they have a new ceo by the name of michael corbett, an is working very aggressively to cut out the excess, the mi
the fiscal cliff deal has come to? why 81-year-old former senator alan simpson is going gangnam style to get everyone's attention on debt. >> it has officially jumped the shark. >>> alan st. pierre is the executive director for the national,or for the reform of marijuana laws. oregon senator jeff merkley, heidi ewing, and rachel grady will be joining us. steve satich, ohio congressman, steve latourette, and ambassador nick burns are our guests this morning. it's thursday, december 6th, and "starting point" begins right now. >>> welcome, everybody. our starting point this morning, some major developments to tell you about in egypt, after angry protests against political moves by the president, mohamed morsi, have turned deadly. tanks, armored personnel vehicles, all stationed outside the presidential analysis cairo. not only are they guarding the palace, they're also keeping apart supporters and opponents of morsi. hundreds of his islamist supporters already taking to the streets in cairo this morning. opponents are gathering not very far away. last night the two sides clashed right outside t
. in the next half hour, we'll talk about the prospect for a fiscal cliff deal with california's democratic congressman xavier becerra. >>> the rain and flooding are relentless in northern california. four storms in less than a week left at least one death now attributed to those storms. and more rain is expected today. let's get right to meteorologist rob marciano. he is following it all from the cnn weather center in atlanta. good morning. >> good morning, zoraida. this is the worst stretch of storms that northern california has seen really in about two years. another punch today then we'll set up for a dry trend. the good news is that it has been dry so the ground, even though we've seen a lot of major flooding, the ground has absorbed a fair amount of it. seattle to portland, rain right now. snow at the highest elevations, and the rain will eventually push down into san francisco and sacramento later on today. this system is actually messing up the atmosphere and creating a lot of warmth across much of the country. if you live anywhere east of the rockies, actually anywhere east of the
lawmakers don't get it together soon. president obama saying now a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff could be about a week away. there is just one catch. he says republicans have to accept the, quote: reality as he puts it that tax rates are going up for the richest americans. something g.o.p. leaders are calling a deal breaker. >> we're not insisting on rates just out of spite or out of any kind of partisan bickering. but rather because we need to raise a certain amount of revenue. we can probably solve this. it's not that tough. but we need that conceptual break through that says we need to do a balanced plan. >> we made a good faith offer to avert the fiscal crisis and that offer included significant spending cuts reforms and it included additional revenue. and frankly, it was a balanced approach mr. president has been asking for. now we need a response from the white house. >> they have 27 days to prevent automatic tax hikes and spending cuts from kicking in on new year's day. ed henry live at the white house for us. ed, we are hearing the president and house speaker john boehne
of getting the fiscal cliff deal done before everyone's taxes go up. >> consolation lunch? president obama visits mitt romney to the white house today and everyone is buzzing about it. could obama offer him a job? >> congratulations to someone. you just won the gdp of a small nation. not just one but two winning tickets in last night's record powerball drawing. we'll tell you where. >> and if they will be my best friend soon. we have a packed show. john ba, rasso, adam shif, rick warren, tom cole, connie and mary bono mack and steven holcomb. >> we have so many people coming up. it is thursday, november 2. "starting point" begins right now. >>> good morning, everyone. our starting point this morning, developments happening now in cairo. the u.s. embassy there is closed. no one is being allowed in or out as we speak. >> embassy officials say protesters are blocking the entrance and clashes are happening near nearby. reza sayah is nearby for us. what's happening? >> reporter: there is no indication protesters are targeting the u.s. em wibassy b it was closed as a precaution. these are protes
, to deficit reduction and dealing with the fiscal cliff, we're talking about fairness. we're talking about making sure that if you work hard and play by the rules everyone has a chance to succeed. that the middle class needs certainly tight right now. speaker pelosi and my colleague congressman tim walls, filed a discharge petition today to take the bill that we have, that has already passed the senate, that grants certainty to the middle class, to take that bill up and make sure that we can extend the middle class tax breaks before the holidays where we can give -- that's what everyone agrees on. i don't know any republican or democrat that thinks we should let those tax rates -- tax cuts for the middle class expire. so we should pass that now. and then on the things that we're having more trouble agreeing on, we should sit down at the table. the one thing i can assure you, the president and democrats in congress, have consistently said, we're not going to do this -- there is no my way or the highway. we have concrete proposals and compromise on the table, thus far, though, we have republ
both hint that a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff is on the way. possibly in time for santa. i asked republican john cornyn whether he thinks that is a reality. >>> and governor romney sits down with the president since the election, actually since the debates. does this do either of them any good? rick santorum is out front. and julian assange is out front to answer critics and our questions tonight. let's go "out front." >>> good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett, outfront tonight, an early christmas miracle. or at least the glimmer of one today. barack obama bringing glad ti tidings of great joy to avoid the fiscal cliff. >> i will go anywhere and do anything it takes to get this done. it's too important for washington to screw this up. >> and john boehner, not to be outdone, put a little early present under the tree too. >> i'm optimistic that we can continue to work together to avert this crisis and sooner rather than later. >> these are pretty glum faces to deliver those presents. no smile from either one of them. but investors didn't care, they're excited about the present,
, i hope your ratings are that good, that didn't win. >> let's turn to the fiscal cliff, i know you don't want to get clinical or partisan, or even talk about this ridiculous phrase "fiscal cliff," just in your dealings with the financial issues for the last 30 or 40 years, what is your view about taxation, generally. doesn't america suffer when taxes are slightly higher in terms of economic prosperity? or is that just a bit of a myth? >> well, i think there are a lot of theories running around out there. and i have the formal education, and finance degree so i studied economics like a lot of us did. i was formally taught, the proper way is that way. that seems to be the direction of the obama administration, the idea to raise taxes. and the government control the reinvestment interest the economy. really, there is not much evidence that that has worked. it didn't work under obama or bush, even an argument it didn't work under fdr, which is where it came from. that probably world war ii bailed us out of the economic slump, probably called the great depression, rather than that. i am
to deal with the so-called fiscal cliff. even though for months they have not really flushed out with great detail where they wanted to see savings, yesterday they did. they came out with a proposal which talked about waiving the eligibility age for medicare from 65 to 67. they talked about recalculating the cost-of-living adjustment for seniors who are on social security. it's the so-called chained c.p.i. which would lower the year in and year out increase for people on social security in terms of keeping up with the cost of living. and these proposals really need a full vigorous debate before the american people before we move in that direction which i would argue and certainly you and others here this afternoon would be the wrong direction for middle class and working family americans. you know, in terms of medicare, i think it's really important historically to review how medicare came into existence. in 1965 when it was signed into law, president lyndon johnson, on the porch of harry truman's house in independence, missouri, half of all americans had any insurance whatsoever
do you think should be happening here to try and get a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff happening? >> i have no doubt people are working very hard to get a deal. i wish their discussions -- well, now we have the president re-elected and we have a new congress. i think it's right they get them to the business of sorting this out. i think america's got to think that what it needs to do is get growth in its economy as well. and it needs to get growth by trade and exporting. i think what we're missing at the moment is a global agreement whereby big powers try to rebuild confidence in the world. yes, have you to sort out the fiscal problems. yes, you also have to have growth because that's the key to employment and to prosperity to the future. there's a global deal waiting to be done with china, europe, india also involved in this and, of course, america itself, where we could build the confidence that is necessary to get higher levels of growth around the world. >> and finally, gordon brown, i couldn't let you go without asking the view of the single biggest news story to hit the planet in
in the fight over the fiscal cliff. a deal has to be hammered out in 26 days or all of us will be dealing with heavy-handed tax hikes and sweeping cuts. the two sides are keeping details of the discussion yesterday under wraps. thil standing their ground on tax hikes for the top 2%. >> the revenues we're putting on the table are going to come from, guess who, the rich. >> once republicans acknowledge that rates are going up for top earners, we believe that an agreement is very achievable. >> kate baldwin is live from washington, d.c. really nice to see you, kate. i know i went into this saying that we're light on details. i'm wondering if you know anything else, are we closer to an agreement. >> i think we're a long way from a deal. although it's one issue they're fighting about. politically they are still very far apart. the two men as you mentioned, the president and speaker boehner did speak for the first time yesterday, the first time in a week which i guess at this point in and of itself is significant because there isn't much talking going on outside of that. but neither side is off
. in a new interview president obama says a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff is still possible but not without higher taxes for the wealthy. the president sat down with bloomberg for his first tv interview since the election and the fiscal cliff face off. he reiterated that lying in the sand is higher taxes for the wealthy. he gave republicans some room to maneuver. >> the issue right now that's relevant is the acknowledgment that if we're going to raise revenues that are sufficient to balance with the very tough cuts that we've already made and the further reforms and entitlemented ientitlements i'm prepared to make, we have to see the rates on the top 2% go up. we're not getting a deal without it. understand the reason for that. it's not me being stubborn or partisan, it's a matter of math. >> and the gop plan, which was unveiled yesterday, includes $800 bill onin new taxes made through closing loopholes and deductions and not raising rates. compare that to the president's plan and that's about half of what the white house asked for. republicans propose 600 billion in entitle
wants to avoid with this fiscal cliff conversation. that's why a deal is going to be hammered out probably before the end of the year. the president does have a little political head wind. >> this gives, i think, labor a real opportunity to show the country the graph that we showed, the separation between corporate profits are right there at a record level and wages are going down. the republicans have been so strong to even want to take away workers voices in the workplace. but in these fiscal cliff negotiations, do you really think that the republicans see this chart and they need that economy to slow down a little bit if they are going to win this? >> maybe so. the income inequality in this country has been a problem but it has been for decades. it's been exacerbated by policies passed more recently. so when you go into negotiations, you ask, is it politically correct to be out there arguing that the 2% need to have their tax cuts protected? that's the problem that republicans face. labor does have a bit of an upper hand on this one. but then again, you look at all the stuff be
by leaving town before making a deal on the fiscal cliff. what's going on? if you take an aspirin to prevent heart trouble check the labor. our own dr. sanjay gupta tells us what a new study says about the effects of coated tablets. we'll also hear what happened during in flight emergency during one of the world's newest high-tech planes. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the situation room. >>> with just 27 days to go until all of us are hit with tax increases, takes it across the board a cut of $55 billion. people have it in their power to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff aren't negotiating, they're not debating right now, so many of them simply leaving town. but there's more going on than meets the eye. let's bring in our senior congressional correspondent dana basch, she has the latest. >> reporter: there's so much political theater around here right now, you could say tickets. one of today's acts was the house leaving. lawmakers streaming out of the capitol hill, racing to their cars to get to the airport and go home. it's a scene you usually see on a thursday afternoon or friday morning, not
spending cuts do you think it would take to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff, and do you think that at least the promise of spending cuts has to be included in this level deal at this time? >> i don't think there's -- i don't think it's a productive for either side to lay out hard lines in terms of what the size of the spending cuts ought to be. there's clearly -- there are a lot of options on how you could get there. but the second part of your question was? >> my question is, do you think the promise of spending cuts has to be included in the deal that averts the fiscal cliff? >> listen, there's a framework that we presented to the white house two weeks ago. the framework is -- has been agreed to in terms of really a down payment on the end of this year. that would include spending cuts and it would include revenue. setting up a process for entitlement reform next year, and tax reform next year. but this was way out of balance. and not a recognition on the part of the white house about the serious spending problem that we have. [ inaudible question ] going over the fiscal cli
already rejected deal to solve the fiscal cliff. he will be traveling to pennsylvania to push his pitch for tax increases on the wealthy. republicans say the campaign-style tactics are getting in the way of productive talks. more companies are announcing special dividends in anticipation of higher tax rates after the new year. whole foods announced a $2 a share special dividend. also declaring one-time payouts, regal entertainment ends on pharmaceuticals and intel labs among other companies. >>> the german parliament has given its approval to the greek debt deal approved by european finance ministers earlier this week. that means that greece can receive about $57 billion in rescue loans. >>>. >> our guest host today is with us trying to rise above and fix the debt. larry, former chairman and ceo of honeywell. one of our favorite guest hosts. you come about once every quarter, larry. >> i do. >> once a quarter. and -- i don't know. last quarter was -- seems like 10, 15 years ago at this point. doesn't it? >> it does to you. to me it is about right. >> with everything that we have been th
of this fiscal cliff deal. that includes house democrats. and how do i go about doing that without totally alienating the base of my party? and i'm very curious to see what his next step is because his opening offer was essentially where he said he could only go in the debt ceiling bargains of july 2011. he said i can go to $800 billion in revenue, i can do these specific entitlement reforms. that's now his opening offer. where does he go here? >> i think, though, steve that the president of the united states and mr. lew and other democrats need to start looking at him differently. he is like an attorney that knows what his client is going to give and what his client's not going to give. we all know john boehner. john boehner's a deal maker. i didn't -- i liked him personally, but i never trusted him in congress because, you know, he liked making deals. that's what we need right now. the president can only push him so far. or he loses his caucus. and this is not about john boehner kicking and screaming. this is about him knowing what he can deliver. >> i understand that. john boehner has,
that republicans have to deal with as they think about the politics and the optics of how the fiscal cliff gets resolved. in the end, they have got not much. they can say they have a mandate so it's equal, but it really isn't and they know that. >> we seem to know as much about mitt romney's taxes as we do about the loopholes republicans are willing to close in this. they can't offer any specifics. is this a turnoff for the people? >> in fairness we have to recognize that there's been a lack of specifics on both sides here. they are negotiating in public. you notice that that's how this stuff is coming out. it's not phone calls between the two sides or closed-door meetings. we don't know what spending democrats would cut and we haven't even begun the entitlements discussion, which the president is theoretically open to. so there's a lot that still needs to happen. i mean for you and me and normal people, three weeks away may seem like a short time, but there's a feeling that this has barely even begun. >> here's senator bob corker and claire mccaskill. here it is. >> i have just laid out in ver
the president's proposal last week to avoid the fiscal cliff, john boehner today put out his own terms for a deal. which he says adds up to $2.2 trillion in savings. boehner's deal includes $800 billion in savings from tax reform from closing special interest loopholes and deductions. $600 billion in so-called health savings, which includes changes to medicare. 300 billion other mandatory savings. 300 billion in further discretionary savings. the white house swiftly shot it down. until the republicans in congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won't be able to achieve a significant balanced approach. >> a man who's been called one of the keys to reaching a real deal. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> let's begin with this letter that comes -- is addressed to the president and comes from the majority leader, boehner. in this letter, he sort of lays out part of his plan. what do you think of his plan as we've laid out so far, and in the specifics this letter. >> i think the first thing i've heard you say, the white house is re
at this with a great deal of optimism. >> i think we're going over the fiscal cliff. it's pretty clear that they have made this happen. they are not saving social security and medicare and medicaid from imminent bankruptcy. jenna: james is live in washington with more. reporter: yes, what is clear is increasingly, the two sides -- the obama, white house, senate democrats on one side, senate republicans on the other, there is a ticking clock involved here. they should be hitting their stride right about now. timothy geithner is trying to avoid plunging of the fiscal cliff. he has made clear that the obama administration is saying that the first order of business has to be to extend tax breaks for middle-class families and raise tax rates for the top 2% of income earners. talks over how to rein in entitlement spending should be held sometime next year. >> the president is asking for $1.6 trillion of new revenue over 10 years. twice as much as he has been asking for the public. his stimulus spending exceeded the amount of new cuts that he was willing to consider. it was not a serious offer. reporter: en
. >>> deal or no deal. we're on the edge of our seats. washington, the fiscal cliff suspense is killing us. 29 days in counting until our taxes go up and across the board spending cuts. we still don't know any of the details. instead we're getting lots of mixed messages as to what exactly is going to happen, where things stand. >> there has been progress. >> right now i would say we're nowhere. >> i'm increasingly pessimistic. >> so tonight, two men who have lots of experience dealing with lawmakers. paul begala, david frum, former adviser to president george w. bush. gentlemen, nice to have you both. david, let's start with you. depending on who you listen to, it's either going great or not going well at all. they're either optimistic or completely pessimistic. which is it? >> i feel about this whole process as a basketball nonfan, i feel about basketball, which is start it 100-100 and play for five minutes to get it over with. but i think we also need to take a step back and realize just how lunatic this whole process is. what the united states does not need right now is either spending
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